(Karen Freeman, Headline USA) A kindergarten in the east German city of Tangerhütte named in honor of Holocaust victim Anne Frank said it was no longer debating a proposal to rebrand after widespread backlash and media attention.
The school had announced plans to rename itself the “World Explorer” kindergarten, Politico reported.
However, it indicated in a recent press release that the discussion was ongoing. Other reports appeared to suggest it had tabled the proposal altogether.
The mayor of Tangerhütte, Andreas Brohm, said the change had been proposed in order to find a name for the school “that has a more positive connotation.”
Linda Schichor, the daycare center manager, added, “We wanted something without a political background.”
Nonetheless, the proposal came at a curious time, as the war between Israel and Hamas has brought tension between Jews and Palestinians into sharp focus around the globe, making an already delicate subject seem even more controversial than it might otherwise have been.
Frank was just 15 years old when she died of typhus in the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen–Belsen in 1945. Her diary, which offered a candid account of her years in hiding, putting a human face on the atrocities of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, has since become required reading in many U.S. schools.
In the years since its World War II defeat, Germany has largely sought to make amends for its central role in the darkest chapter of modern history, going so far as to prohibit speech that is sympathetic to the Nazis.
But in a telling sign of the times, as the country—like many others in the Western world—becomes a mecca for radical Islamic colonizers fleeing Africa and the Middle East, it seems anti-Semitism is once again on the rise.
“The move was driven by parents who found it difficult to explain Frank’s significance to their children,” reported the Jerusalem Post following the Tangerhütte school’s initial announcement.
The International Auschwitz Committee, founded by Holocaust survivors, strongly condemned the renaming, as did other Jewish groups and senior politicians in the German state of Saxony–Anhalt.
Social-media users also conveyed their outrage.
“They are promoting diversity by erasing Jews,” wrote pro-Israeli activist Aviva Klompas.
This is appalling. A German daycare center named after Anne Frank is changing its name.
German media reports that parents want the center to push a message more focused on “international diversity.”
Hear that? They are promoting diversity by erasing Jews.
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) November 6, 2023
“Migrant parents successfully got Anne Frank canceled in Germany? Seems a little on the nose,” noted conservative pundit and Townhall editor Guy Benson.
“Migrant parents” successfully got Anne Frank canceled in Germany? Seems a little on the nose. https://t.co/8XeGy0BuL4
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) November 6, 2023
“Imagine telling yourself in 2013 that in 10 years time, the Germans will be cancelling the ‘Anne Frank Kindergarten’ because of …. ‘Diversity,’ said blogger Gray Connolly.
Imagine telling yourself in 2013 that in 10 years time, the Germans will be cancelling the "Anne Frank Kindergarten" because of ….. "Diversity" pic.twitter.com/IPRro9oNZt
— Gray Connolly (@GrayConnolly) November 6, 2023
“Honoring an innocent girl who was murdered for being Jewish is apparently political. Sure. ok,” tweeted Kate Oxsen, an assistant professor at the Catholic Theological Union.
A kindergarten in Germany named for Anne Frank wants to change its name.
Because they don't want a figure with a political background.
I'm sorry….. What?
Honoring an innocent girl who was murdered for being Jewish is apparently political. Sure, ok. https://t.co/evIJ046AYP
— Kate Oxsen (@8r1gld1253) November 7, 2023
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.